Hello and welcome to my next blog, we have covered several eras during the time we were given and I had the choice of discussing freedom during the gilded age, progressive era, Spanish American war, and World War 1. Since I personally find that World War 1 was had the biggest influence globally, I have decided to discuss it.
In the article I read, which was actually Canadian, they tried to discuss why they fought the war. What it appears like is that war propaganda was trying to sell that they were fighting the war to defend freedom. However, the Canadian author then points out, that in order to think of it as fighting for freedom, you would have to ignore the people that the European empires forcefully conscripted to fight their war. Not only were many soldiers conscripted, but you could argue that some of these countries were no truly free. Many countries fighting for "freedom" did no have women's suffrage yet. Likewise Italy placed property restrictions on voting, and the U.S. implemented Jim Crow Laws to keep African Americans from voting. If we look at Germany, we can see that they had total manhood suffrage. The only other country in the war that had this was France. So could we really claim to be fighting for freedom while our enemies were more socially free? Instead of fighting for freedom in individuals, maybe we were fighting for freedom of nations. trying to keep smaller nations out of the hands of the tyrants that wanted to control them. But if we look closer, we can see that we only really cared about the balance of power. After all France only joined because of alliances with Russia, Britain only joined because they were trying to make sure that no one took over Belgium, and Italy only joined with promise of territory. So can we really say we were fighting for freedom?